Countries exempt from South African Visas
PASSPORT HOLDERS WHO ARE EXEMPT FROM VISAS FOR SOUTH AFRICA
SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE
The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official and ordinary) of the foreign countries / territories / international organisations listed below are not required to hold a visa when reporting to an immigration officer for an examination at a South African port of entry, subject to the terms and conditions set out in this list, including inter alia the intended period of stay in the Republic.
1. The holder of a national South African passport, travel document and document for travel purposes.
2. The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official or ordinary) of the following countries / territories / international organisations is not required to hold a visa in respect of purposes for which a port of entry visa may be issued or by virtue of being a person contemplated in section 31(3)(b) [accredited in SA] for an intended stay of 90 days or less and when in transit:
African Union Laissez Passer
Chile (only ordinary passport holders)
Germany (except in diplomatic staff due to assume duty at the Embassy and Consulates of Germany in SA)
Namibia (only ordinary passport holders 90 days per annum)
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Tanzania (90 days per annum)
Trinidad & Tobago (only ordinary passport holders)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (only ordinary passport holders)
British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man. British Oversees Territories namely: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and Dependencies (Ascension Island, Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha), Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the Turks and Caicos Island.
United States of America (except in diplomatic staff due to assume duty at the Embassy and Consulates of the USA in SA)
Zambia (90 days per annum)
3. The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official and ordinary) of the following countries / territories / international organisations is not required to hold a visa in respect of purposes for which a port of entry visa may be issued or by virtue of being a person contemplated in section 31(3)(b) [accredited in SA] for an intended stay of 30 days or less and when in transit:
Antigua and Barbuda
Bahamas (only ordinary passport holders)
Hong Kong [only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports]
Macau [only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR)]
4. Agreements have also been concluded with the following countries for holders of diplomatic and official passport holders.
Citizens who are holders of diplomatic, official and service passports of the following countries do not require visas in respect of purposes for which a port of entry visa may be issued or by virtue of being a person contemplated in section 31(3)(b) [accredited in SA] for the period indicated and transit:
Albania (120 days)
Algeria (30 days)
Angola (90 days)
Belarus (90 days)
Benelux states (90 days)
Bulgaria (90 days)
China (PROC) (30 days)
Cyprus (90 days)
Comoros (90 days)
Croatia (90 days)
Cuba (90 days)
Egypt (30 days)
Ghana (90 days)
Guinea (90 days)
Hungary (120 days)
India (90 days)
Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) (30 days)
Kenya (30 days)
Mexico (90 days)
Madagascar (30 days)
Morocco (30 days)
Mozambique (90 days)
Namibia (30 days)
Nigeria (90 days)
Paraguay (120 days)
Poland (90 days)
Romania (90 days)
Russian Federation (90 days)
Rwanda (30 days)
Senegal (90 days)
Slovak Republic (90 days)
Thailand (90 days)
Tunisia (90 days)
Vietnam (90 days)
5. Notwithstanding this Schedule, a foreigner whose visa exemption has been withdrawn shall comply with the visa requirements until notified by the Department that his or her visa exemption has been re-instated by the Department on petition or of its own accord.
6. General Work Visas are not required by commercial heavy duty vehicle drivers who are employed by South African companies and originate from countries which enjoy visa free movement into South Africa, on condition that they can produce a letter confirming their employment on entry. In accordance with a High Court ruling by the North Gauteng High Court on 31 March 2011, foreign commercial heavy duty vehicle drivers may be issued with visitor’s visas in terms of section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, with authorisation to conduct work in terms of section 11(2) of the said Act for the period of their visa exemption, which period may not exceed 90 days at a time.
7. Port of entry visas are not required by foreign employed commercial heavy-duty vehicle drivers from Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi who are entering the Republic, provided their visits do not exceed the period of their visa exemption and on condition that they can produce a letter confirming their employment with a transport company abroad on entry. Visitor’s visas in terms of section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, with authorisation to conduct work in terms of section 11(2) of the said Act for the period of their visa exemption, which period may not exceed 90 days at a time
8. Staff members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who travel on SADC laissez-passers are exempt from visa requirements for bona fide official business visits up to 90 days and transit.
9. The following categories of the UN as well as their spouses, dependent relatives and other members of the households are exempt from visa requirements when visiting the Republic for periods not exceeding 90 days for purposes for which a port of entry visa may be issued, and for official business purposes and transits and when accredited for placement at a UN mission in the Republic for the duration of their accreditation, provided they are in possession of the relevant letters or identification documents to identify themselves at ports of entry as personnel of an UN agency.
- Holders of United Nations Laissez-passers
- Volunteers attached to the UN
- Persons involved in any United Nations agency
- Persons performing services on behalf of the UN
10. Members of military forces attending any military related matters with the South African National Defence Force are exempt from visa and study visa requirements; irrespective of their duration of stay provided they are in possession of letters of invitation from the SANDF as well as letters of consent from the military force of which they are members.
11. With effect from 18 December 2015 travellers, with the exception of deportees, who transit through O R Tambo International Airport; Cape Town International Airport; King Shaka International Airport and Lanseria International Airport do not require transit visas as contemplated in section 10B(4)(a) of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002). However, transiting passengers will be subjected to biometric capturing. Deportees transiting at any port of entry are required to be in possession of a transit visa at all times and must be escorted.